Open your eyes.

I woke with a start - checked the clock. Five more minutes.

Open your eyes.

This time it woke me. Late.

I rushed to get ready, got into the car. I was going to be late. I knew it, and the thought occurred slowly at first, but as it grew, my care lessened. Twenty years I'd done the same job. I'd never been late.

It was too early to say what the day would be like. Perhaps it would be sunny.

I started the car.

Open your eyes.

I stopped the car.

I got out and went through the gate to the garden. No one could see me except the trees and the clouds. The grass was green and the sky was pale. It seemed so fragile.

I should go to work.

Open your eyes.

I took off my shoes.

I'd left the keys in the car.

Open your eyes.

I began to walk.

There was a wood behind the house. It wasn't connected to my garden so I had to go through another gate. And another. Everything was greener here, where nothing touched the land but the rain.

I was worried I'd get lost.

Open your eyes.

I stepped off the path.

I walked. I weaved my way through trees, their huge thick trunks standing strong amidst the soft ground. I forgot about work. I forgot about the sharp buildings. I forgot how they cut into the sky. I forgot how cold they were, how grey.

When I reached a gentle stream, I followed it, got into the water, watched as it flowed over my feet and lapped at my ankles. I found a place where it pooled and rippled then rushed over the edge into a small waterfall. I lay by its side. I could see the sky through the trees, framed by their leafy arms as they caressed the clouds.

Open your eyes.

My eyes, I said, are open.